If you've searched online for private health insurance that covers expats in Pakistan then you are most likely for looking for trusted UK based health insurance companies that can cover your medical expenses in Pakistan.
Living as an expat in Pakistan you want to avoid any nasty unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious conditions.
Our advice when looking for private medical cover that covers expatriates living in Pakistan is to speak to a health insurance broker. Health insurance is incredibly complex and if you want absolute certainty that Pakistan is covered you should consult with a health insurance broker who can explain which providers will cover medical expenses for expatriates in Pakistan and which will exclude it.
There are many advantages to using a broker but the largest by far is that you're using their insurance training at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than you so it costs you no extra to use their services.
- Do you live in many different postcodes? Some will give you a cheaper premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this critical information.
- If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your insurance policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
- You've lean't you're at risk of developing a certain condition and want to know which policy provider offers the biggest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you huge amounts of time and effort.
You can call around every medical insurance provider on the market and ask if they provider cover for expats in Pakistan, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.
Its far far quicker to speak to one health insurance broker which will know which policy providers on the market offer cover for expats in Pakistan and under what conditions they do or don't cover it.
In Pakistan, tourism is a growing industry. In 2010, Lonely Planet termed Pakistan "tourism's 'next big thing' for more years than we care to remember". The country is geographically and ethnically diverse, and has a number of historical and cultural heritage sites. The upsurge in tourism in the past few years has been aided by the Government of Pakistan's recent decision to end mandatory No Objection Certificates for foreign tourists seeking to visit certain parts of the country.
Pakistan was ranked The Best Holiday Destination for 2020 and was also declared the third-highest potential adventure destination in the world for 2020. As security in the country improves, tourism increases; in two years, it has increased by more than 300%. The Pakistani government has launched online visa services for 175 countries and 50 countries were offered visa on arrival, making a visit to Pakistan easier. The country received an influx of travel vloggers, who showed the beauty of the country, especially the northern areas Hunza and Skardu.
In 2018, the British Backpacker Society ranked Pakistan the world's top adventure travel destination, describing the country as "one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination". Forbes ranked Pakistan as one of the ‘coolest places’ to visit in 2019. The World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report placed Pakistan in the top 25 per cent of global destinations for its World Heritage sites, which range from the mangroves in the Indus delta to the Indus Valley Civilization sites including Mohenjo-daro and Harappa.
According to the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Pakistan's GDP in 2015 was US$328.3 million, constituting 2.8% of the total GDP. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Pakistan's GDP in 2016 was US$7.6 billion (PKR 793.0 billion), constituting 2.7% of the total GDP. By 2025, the government predicts tourism will contribute ₨1 trillion (US$6.2 billion) to the Pakistani economy.
In October 2006, one year after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, The Guardian released a list of "the top five tourist sites in Pakistan" to help the country's tourism industry. The sites included Lahore, the Karakoram Highway, Karimabad and Lake Saiful Muluk. To promote the country's cultural heritage, in 2007, Pakistan launched the "Visit Pakistan" marketing campaign that involved events including fairs, religious festivals, regional sporting events, arts and craft shows, folk festivals and openings of historical museums.
In 2013, 565,212 tourists visited Pakistan, contributing $298 million; these figures have since risen to over 6.6 million tourists in 2018. By comparison, Pakistan's domestic tourism industry is estimated at 50 million tourists who travel in the country on short trips usually between May to August. The largest inflow of tourists are from the United Kingdom, followed by United States, India and China.
Major tourist attractions in Pakistan include the ruin of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, the Himalayan hill stations. Pakistan is home to several mountain peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 feet), including K2, which draw adventurers and mountaineers from around the world. The north of Pakistan has many old fortresses, ancient architecture and the Hunza and Chitral valleys, which are home to small Kalash communities and Fairy Meadows, and the Diamer District of Gilgit Baltistan. Punjab province has the historic city Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital, with many examples of Mughal architecture such as Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Tomb of Jahangir and Lahore Fort.
According to Samira Shackle during 1960s Pakistan was part of famous “hippy trail” which was stretched from Europe to Asia, but that tourism disappeared with disappearance of liberal face of Pakistan since on set of 1970's Islamization of Pakistan by dictator Gen Zia ul-Haq and subsequent Taliban and al-Qaeda 9/11 times westerners became a target of local branches of the terror outfits. Shackle says even domestic tourism came to halt due to terrorism which has taken lives of more than 65000 in Pakistan since 2001
'...Pakistan’s real problem is its image...Positive messages would strengthen your image...There are more dangerous countries ...but their image is an exotic one...Italy .. mafia is 20,000..the rest of 60m people are normal...” ~ Andreas Ferrarese,Italian Ambassador to Pakistan
According to Samira Shackle since 2018 one estate dealing company promoting Gwadar properties as new Dubai started organizing visits for travel influencers. Shackle says, lately Pakistan has become an unexpected destination for western social media influencers producing glossy, upbeat travel content. Travel influencers popular on social media like Rosie Gabrielle, Food Ranger, Drew Binsky too were roped in image building for Pakistan tourism. Shackle says, under prime minister Imran Khan, the government of Pakistan has encouraged this tourism. For 2020 Forbes listed in top ten tourist destinations where as Condé Nast Traveller went ahead to rank Pakistan on first number as a tourist destination. Shackle says, while some Pakistanis find pride in recruited influencer driven image making, many other Pakistanis are bewildered. While on one hand Pakistan is being promoted as ideal destination, any one from civil society presenting critical narrative are bulldozed, even journalist Shackle herself was asked to display only positive sides of Pakistan. According to Shackle some critics believe that promotion of tourism is just mere attempt of deflecting domestic & international attention from realities of terrorism, nuclear irresponsibility, money laundering, lack of democracy and human rights issues in Pakistan.